Yup, I’m here. I made this list before setting off:
1. Popular music: Few from any country come close to Fela Kuti, the main question is how many you should buy, not which ones. Most of them! On the CD medium, that old series of “two albums on one CD” was the best way to consume Fela. On streaming, you can probably just let it rip. And rip. And rip. Other favorites are King Sunny Ade and I.K. Dairo, I don’t love Fema Kuti. You also might try Nigerian psychedelic funk rock from the late 60s and early 70s, for instance found here. Most of all, there are thousands of wonderful local performers in Nigeria, you can watch a few of them on the Netflix documentary on the Nigerian music scene, titled Konkombe, recommended and only an hour long.
There is now a good deal of hit Nigerian and Nigerian-American music, such as Wizkid. It is enjoyable but does not compare to Fela in terms of staying power.
2. Basketball player: The Dream is one of my three or four favorite players of all time. My favorite Hakeem was watching him pick apart David Robinson play after play after play…see the final clip on the immediately preceding link.
3. Novel: Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart. Honorable mentions go to Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, and my colleague Helon Habila. There are also the Nigerian-American writers, such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Teju Cole is worth reading, including his non-fiction.
4. Movie: Well, I’ve seen parts of some of them, and you should at least sample some Nollywood if you haven’t already. It’s kinetic. The documentary “Nollywood Babylon” (Netflix) gives you some background. As for “Movie, set in,” I draw a blank. “Album, set in and recorded in” would be Band on the Run, Paul McCartney and Wings.
5. Actor: Chiwetal Ejiofor, he starred in “Twelve Years a Slave,” and is from a Nigerian family in Britain.
6. Presidential name: Goodluck Jonathan.
7. Artist: Prince Twins Seven Seven, or more formally Prince Taiwo Olaniyi Wyewale-Toyeje Oyekale Osuntoki. He received his nickname because he was the only surviving child from seven distinct sets of twins.
8. Food dish: At least for now I have to say jollof rice, a precursor dish to jambalaya, further reports to come however!
The bottom line: Lots of talent here, plenty more on the way.